New guidance on sexual harassment and harassment at work
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published new technical guidance on sexual harassment and harassment at work. It replaces previous guidance published in December 2017.
The new guidance explains employers’ legal responsibilities and the practical steps they should take to prevent and respond to harassment and victimisation at work. It also provides advice for workers to help them understand the law and their employer’s obligations to prevent harassment and ... read more
Don’t be taken in by this scam
The Insolvency Service has warned that fraudsters have been contacting investors in insolvent schemes claiming to be from the Official Receiver’s office or to have been appointed by the Official Receiver to help recover funds for a fee. These contacts are fraudulent.
The Insolvency Service provides services to those affected by financial distress or failure. Insolvency occurs when individuals or businesses do not have enough assets to cover their debts or are unable to pay their debts ... read more
Disclosing VAT errors
Where an error on a past VAT return is uncovered, you have a duty to correct the error as soon as possible. As a general rule, you can use your current VAT return to make any necessary adjustment. However, there are three important conditions that must be met:
The error must be below the reporting threshold.
The error must not be deliberate.
The error can only relate to an accounting period that ended less than 4 years ago.
Under the reporting threshold rule, you can make an adjustment on ... read more
Ways that HMRC can collect overdue tax
If you are unable to pay your tax bill or need time to pay then it is in your best interests to contact HMRC as soon as possible. For example, you can apply to HMRC to make a payment plan and seek to agree a way forward. This can be done through the Payment Support Service (PSS).
If the payment of overdue tax is unresolved, HMRC can take enforcement action to secure the money they are owed. HMRC can also charge interest on outstanding amounts and you may also be required to pay penalties and ... read more
HMRC publish strange late filing excuses?
A recent press release by HMRC has revealed some of the oddest excuses for submitting a late tax return, that have been made during the past 10 years. The excuses ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous and included:
My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me.
I was up a mountain in Wales and couldn’t find a post box or get an internet signal.
My dog ate the post … again.
I’ve been cruising round the world in my yacht, and only picking up post when I’m on ... read more
Relief for CGT losses
Usually, if you sell an asset for less than you paid for it you would make a capital loss. As a general rule, if the asset would have been liable to CGT if a gain had resulted when sold, then the loss should be an allowable deduction.
The exact treatment of losses depends on whether they are:
losses of the same year of assessment as the gains,
losses of earlier years of assessment,
losses of the tax year of death, or
particular losses which may, exceptionally, be carried back from a ... read more
When is a Will revoked?
We have previously covered the importance of making a Will and ensuring that assets are divided amongst beneficiaries in the way best suited to personal circumstances. One of the most important reasons for doing so is to ensure that individuals do not die intestate (without a Will). This avoids estates being distributed in accordance with fixed criteria instead of the deceased person's unscripted wishes.
However, there are a number of ways in which a whole Will can be revoked:
by ... read more
Scottish 2020 Budget
Derek Mackay, Scotland’s finance secretary has announced that the Scottish Government’s Budget will be published for 2020-21 on 6 February 2020. The date has been selected in order to allow the Scottish Government time to prepare for the new tax year.
This is the first time that Scotland has held a Budget before the rest of the UK. The delay in the UK Budget until 11 March had left the Scottish Government in a quandary and with no time to wait until after the UK Budget to deliver ... read more
New taskforce to target waste criminals
A new taskforce has been launched to tackle serious and organised waste crime, such as dumping hazardous materials on private land and falsely labelling waste so it can be exported abroad to unsuspecting countries.
This will be the first time that law enforcement agencies, environmental regulators, HMRC and the National Crime Agency have worked together to help stamp out waste crime as part of the work of the new Joint Unit for Waste Crime (JUWC).
Serious and organised waste crime is estimated ... read more
Statutory maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental and sick pay to rise from April 2020
According to proposals set out in a government policy paper, the revised rates for statutory maternity pay (SMP), statutory adoption pay (SAP), statutory paternity pay (SPP), statutory shared parental pay (ShPP) and statutory sick pay (SSP) for tax year 2020/21 are to be as follows:
the standard weekly rates of SMP, SAP, SPP and ShPP will increase from £148.68 to £151.20 (or 90% of the employee’s weekly earnings if that amount is lower than the statutory rate) – it is ... read more